I have ridden a bicycle since I was 3 years old and I never tire of riding into new and old areas. Just the wind on my face clears out the cobwebs in my brain and makes me feel more alive. Enjoy these fabulous five! I know there are more, but this will get you started.
Saguaro National Park in Tucson, Arizona
Known as “The Loop,” to Tucson cyclists. The Saguaro National Park biking is one of the most popular bike rides in the Tucson area. This is a spectacular circuit on the east side of Tucson that winds through a cactus forest to the base of the Rincon Mountains.
There is beautiful desert vegetation and occasional wildlife to be seen, so watch out for deer, bunnies and javalina particularly early in the morning.
You can start anywhere in Tucson to add mileage to this easy ride. Also doing multiple laps is the way to go with the average time about 30 minutes for each lap, which can add up to 20 miles one way with an elevation gain of about 648 feet.
NOTE: The Saguaro National Park is a national park and does require a small $ fee to enter the park. Paying the fee is worth the ride!
PS: If you are from out of town and don’t have an annual pass wait for a local with an annual pass and ride in with them to avoid the $5 fee. The locals with annual passes can get two cyclists in per pass.
Platte River Trail in Denver, Colorado
This 28. 5 mile trail is mostly concrete and starts in Thornton on the north end and ends in South Denver. Trail follows the Platte River and spring and fall are the best for biking. In the summer, early mornings make for the best trail conditions. The winter weather is unpredictable, but many days provide great trail weather for those who are well prepared and dressed in layers.
With the Rockies in the backdrop and the smooth trail ahead of you, roll into Denver for lunch before heading north toward Henderson into high plains. The river ride turns into the Mary Carter Greenway, which continues to Chatfield State Park. There, it connects to the five other cool trails. In between: cafes, botanical gardens and lots of parks. Info: Things to do in Denver
Breckenridge to Frisco in Colorado
Now, if you want to bike in the rocky mountains and take in some awesome views, then check out Vail Pass Summit trail. The ride to the summit is 24 miles and 1550′ of climb round trip from the Frisco Marina or Frisco’s west Main St. parking lot. Riding from Breckenridge adds about 18 miles and 500′ of additional climb, mostly a relatively gentle grade from Frisco back to Breckenridge. The ride becomes difficult toward the top of the pass with 3 relatively steep, short switchbacks but is a moderate climb from Frisco to Copper. I have only ridden this one, but there are many. many more. Visit, Summit Biking for more information.
Provo River Parkway in Provo Utah
Fifteen miles of meandering along the Provo River in Utah Lake State Park are available towards the mouth of Provo Canyon that picks up a slight gradual incline. Some short, steep climbs make it challenging at times, but its well-worth it. The reward: Bridal Veil Falls. The rushing water, which drops 600+ feet through a double cascade, is the perfect escape. Info:Utah Mountain Biking
Paseo del Bosque Trail in New Mexico
Albuquerque’s premiere multi-use trail, the Paseo del Bosque Trail, goes from the north to the south edges of the metro area through the Rio Grande’s cottonwood bosque (forest) for 15 miles of paved multi-use trails uninterrupted by roadways. This trail is within minutes of downtown and other road routes throughout the area. In 2008, Sunset magazine ranked the Paseo del Bosque trail No. 1 for Top City Bike Rides.
Restrooms: Note that the only formal restroom facilities currently available on the trail are located at the Alameda access on the southeast side of the Alameda Blvd. bridge